§ Mr. Heppell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 26 January,Official Report, column 698, in what circumstances her permission is required for the emigration of a child who is in care; and in how many cases such permission has been granted in each year since 1967.
§ Mr. Yeo
The permission of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not been required since the implementation of the Children Act 1989 on 14 October 1991. Figures relating to the number of applications made to the Secretary of State before the Children's Act's implementation could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
The courts now decide such matters. Their approval is given only: if emigration is in the child's best interests; if suitable arrangements are made for the child's reception and welfare in the country where the child will live; if the child has consented to living in that country; and if every person who has parental responsibility for the child has similarly consented.